Winterim is a required weeklong experiential learning program that provides 7th – 12th grade Dawson students the opportunity to explore a wide range of educational options outside of the classroom.  The Dawson faculty has again put together a selection of programs that offer our students unique and challenging opportunities.

2014 Winterim Website

Sample Middle School Opportunities

Around the World in 5 Days

Scale to the pinnacle of the Alps or learn a martial art from a master without leaving Colorado. The Front Range is a diverse, cosmopolitan community connected to all the world’s continents. Each of the five days will focus on a different region of the world: Asia, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Every day, students will eat at an authentic restaurant and explore cultures through activities such as cooking, African drumming, indoor rock climbing, volunteering with kids in the community, and scuba diving. Along the way you will meet people from all over the world. 

Backpacking in Utah 

The Grand Gulch Primitive Plateau in Southeastern Utah will be a six-day adventure you don’t want to miss.  Students will learn how to use a map and compass to travel in the canyons.  Each night we will camp in a different location and cook our own delicious meals. We will explore Indian ruins and view the beautiful night sky. After 5 days in the backcountry, we will stop at the Glenwood Hot Springs on our way home.

Colorado Secrets and Specters

Did you know that Colorado a popular setting for stories of mystery and horror? Investigate this question by visiting the cities where three mysterious novels (Antler Dust, Blood Memory, The Shining) take place. Students will get a chance to walk in the actual footsteps of the characters from these books, seeing if the images of these settings that the books create in the mind’s eye match up with reality, all the while composing writing of their own as the group works to create its own anthology of mysterious prose that will be “published” and distributed once the Winterim is over. 

At an ecological retreat nestled high in the tropical mountains overlooking the Pacific Coast, we will sleep in bamboo bungalows, tour an organic farm, relax in hammocks, and hike to secluded waterfalls and swimming holes. We will travel to a village where we will get to know locals and their way of life. We will work on a meaningful service project and also have time to play soccer, practice Spanish, and make friends. We will receive Spanish support and fun mini-lessons. At the end of our stay in the village, we will have a fiesta de despedida, or going away party. 

Diversity of the Species 

Focus on the diversities found within the plant and animal kingdoms from aquatic life through mankind, examine the wide range of species living on the planet and how they interact with each other to survive, and experience many different environments. In the San Diego area we will visit the famous San Diego Zoo, the Palomar Observatory, Escondido Wild Animal Park, Scripps Oceanography Institute and Birch Aquarium. We will study humans at the Olympic Training Center and visit the gardens at Balboa Park.  Sea World will provide up-close encounters with seals, walruses, polar bears and a water encounter with Beluga whales. 

Extreme Film Making

This Winterim will focus on the production of a winter adventure film with a focus on environmental awareness. Students will travel to Vail Mountain and will spend three days/three nights filming skiing or snowboarding.  Each student will take part in the planning and filming of mountain sports for the movie.  Students will also learn basic cinematic concepts such as framing, composition, panning and more. 

After three days of filming, we will return to Dawson for two days of editing. The students will learn to use iMovie, Final Cut Pro, and iDVD to edit the movie and produce the final product. 

France: Les Chateaux de La Loire

Journey back into the incredibly rich and fascinating history of France and tour enormous ancient castles, tiptoe through medieval dungeons, travel for miles in an underground rock quarry, discover an evil queen’s poison chamber, and more.  By visiting an array of legendary chateaux and monuments located in central France’s mystical Loire Valley, students will gain an appreciation for the evolution of France as we know it today.  Walk through medieval fortresses from the time of Joan of Arc, admire architectural masterpieces designed and engineered by Leonardo da Vinci during the Renaissance, wonder at the royal palaces and hunting lodges frequented by Europe’s once most powerful monarchy during the Enlightenment, and stand before the most recognizable monuments in Paris as they learn about the French Revolution. 

Front Range Fun

This local Winterim is chock-full of adventure in our own backyards. Our trip includes visits to Boulder, Denver, Lone Tree, Idaho Springs, Ft Collins and Loveland. Our adventures include indoor skydiving, Segway riding, aerial apparatus, art & sculpture, a gold mine & hot springs soak, a walking history tour and an amazing adventure of tea, candy and chocolate, so save room for dessert.

RC Dawson Robotics Immersion

Do you enjoy being creative?  Do you enjoy designing solutions to problems?  Do you like robots?  If you would like to gain experience working with robotic systems, sign up for the RC Dawson Robotics Immersion.  We will build robotic bugs called bristlebots, we will work with the Hummingbird robotics platform to design and build several different autonomous robotic displays, and we will also experiment with a basic FIRST Robotics competition robot.  Other opportunities may include basic robotic programming, mechanical grippers, custom part fabrication, and computer-aided design using Sketch Up and Creo Parametric. 

Soundscapes: Gamelan Edition

Discover the fascinating world of sound-design. This group of “mad sound’entists” collaborates to create a layered sonic collage based on a theme. Using portable recorders, students capture interesting source sounds from around campus and special nearby sites. Some natural and human-made objects make unbelievable sounds when activated by mallets, sticks, violin bows, even an electric drill, and then recorded at a close distance.  Recorded sounds are loaded onto computers to edit, process and mix them into a surround-sound masterpiece.

Washington, D.C., History and Culture Tour

The city at the crossroads of American history and politics, Washington, D.C. is home to notable monuments and world-class museums including the renowned Smithsonian Institute, Air and Space Museum, and emotionally powerful Holocaust Memorial Museum. A nighttime tour of the city will take us to many of the District’s landmarks. We will delve into Lincoln’s assassination at Ford’s Theatre and wander the streets of Old Towne Alexandria on a quest for ghosts. We will hone our espionage tradecraft at the International Spy Museum before investigating five centuries of news and history at the Newseum.